(Español) Costa Rica: la derrota prematura de un gobierno divididoAuthor(s): Steffan Gómez-Campos and Evelyn Villareal F.
Keywords: Costa Rica, Democracy, Political Parties, Elections, Citizen Confidence, Branches of Government, Social Mobilization
A review of events in 2012 finds a government which in its second year in office suffered major defeats across key policy areas. Government commitments on tax reform, security policy, improvement of infrastructure, as well as managing the conflict with Nicaragua, all experienced major reversals or setbacks. Internal feuding continued to beset the Executive. However, in contrast to 2011, internal tensions now spilled over into other branches of the state. The political impasse coupled with daily reports of corruption, growing citizen protest and high levels of popular dissatisfaction with the government served to effectively halt official efforts to advance a legislative programme. In response, the President of the Republic declared the nation ungovernable and commissioned a group of experts to advise on systematic reform –the latest in a series of such exercises undertaken by government in recent years. This panorama has only stoked citizen discontent. The 2012 survey on democratic support in Costa Rica registered its lowest levels of popular support (56%) since records began in 1978.